Project Story: Deafblind UK – Vision Foundation

Project Story: Deafblind UK

We know that landing a job with a visual impairment can be difficult, add hearing impairment to that, and the difficulty is compounded. Just 4% of deafblind population aged 18-24 are in work, for the 25+ demographic that increases to 20%, but with few holding senior positions and many in lower paid jobs.

We are working with Deafblind UK by supporting the organisation with their Access Employment Programme.
The programme offers people who are not in education and/or employment access to a supportive and enabling environment where they can develop their confidence, motivation, skills and knowledge. Through mentoring, potential employers, skilled HR professionals, employment advisors and specialist Access To Work advisors. As well as guest speakers with success stories to share.

The 12-week programme covers extensively through group and 1:1 sessions, topics such as:
• ‘Wellbeing Star’ and motivational change
• Team building skills
• Choosing or changing a career or job role
• Beginning a course or retraining, including college and university information
• Self-employment
• Searching for vacancies
• Writing a CV
• Applications
• Disclosing a disability
• Preparing for interview & confidence building
• Interview skills and mock interviews
• Work behaviour and working with others
• Access to Work
• Disability Employment Support
• How to get the best out of your Mentor

Each participant leaves the programme with a tailored plan to help them onto their next steps.

What we are funding

Over two years we are funding an Employment Coach who has a good understanding of the needs of those with a sight and hearing loss condition. This person will deliver six 12-week programmes supporting up to 30 adults.

A bit about dual sensory loss

Deafblindness can range from struggling to see and hear the TV right through to not being able to see or hear anything at all. However, many people with deafblindness are able to hear and/or see something. Deafblindness affects everyone in different ways.
It is estimated that there are nearly 400,000 deafblind people in the UK. This is expected to increase to over 600,000 by 2030 due to our ageing population. Deafblindness affects people of all ages, including children and young people, but it is more common in older people as our sight and hearing naturally worsen as we get older.